The quality of medical care would be much lower without narrow specialists who are able to diagnose and cure diseases with mixed symptoms. A phlebologist is one of such specialists who is involved in the diagnosis and treatment of the lower extremities venous system diseases. Their abilities include developing the most effective research methods, making a diagnosis, and prescribing the proper treatment.
History of the Profession
Venous system diseases were first diagnosed and treated in Ancient Greece. Phlebology in the modern sense developed simultaneously in two countries, Russia and Germany. In 1860, German and Russian surgeons began to use the same test. The legs of the patient lying on the couch were pulled by plaits. After the patient got up, the doctor could visually determine the place of vein swelling.
In the 20th century, thanks to the research of the American surgeon W. Babcon, a new method for treating varicose veins with the help of a probe were developed. Before it was necessary to make incisions and carry out a full surgical intervention. This method of treatment was not suitable for all patients. Use of the probe allowed to perform minimally invasive operations that are safe and without contraindications.
The breakthrough in the field of diagnosis and treatment of venous diseases was the invention of ultrasound. The use of ultrasound techniques made it possible to accurately determine the vessels affected by varicose veins, while not injuring the healthy ones. Invention of the laser method of coagulation divided phlebology into therapeutic and surgical fields.
Features of Work
The main responsibility of a phlebologist is an accurate diagnosis. The initial examination practically does not provide an understanding of the disease picture. To make the correct diagnosis, the doctor conducts a study. The easiest diagnostic method is ultrasound. With its help, doctors can identify blood clots and tumors in large veins.
A more accurate picture requires contrast venography. The doctor injects a special substance into the veins, which gives a contrasting color on an x-ray. This allows phlebologists to detect even small blood clots, tumors, and foci of inflammation.
A phlebologist uses different methods to treat affected veins. Large veins are removed completely, small ones get “glued” with the help of special medicine. The use of modern technology greatly simplifies the work of phlebologists-surgeons but also makes it more responsible. The main task of the doctor is to save as many healthy veins as possible and prevent the growth of affected areas.
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Necessary Personality Traits
Emotional stability is very important for a phlebologist. Such doctors need to have physical and mental stamina, the ability to respond quickly in stressful situations, be patient and learn quickly. This profession is not suitable for people prone to increased anxiety, apathy, and insomnia.
Physical health is also important since the work of a phlebologist suggests that the doctor spends most of the time sitting behind diagnostic devices. This affects the condition of the spine and pelvic organs.
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Pros and Cons of the Profession
The main advantages of working as a phlebologist are:
Narrow specialization. A physician of wide specialization (such as a therapist) needs to thoroughly know the main categories of diseases and be able to assess the general condition of the patient. For a phlebologist, it is enough to know only their area of expertise, the venous system.
The simplicity of diagnostic methods. To make a correct diagnosis, the doctor must be able to work with the equipment. A specialist with a required level of knowledge can always make the correct diagnosis and will not harm the patient.
Possibility of public and private practice. Phlebologists can work in both a public and private veins treatment center, and be engaged in scientific activities.
The disadvantages of a phlebologist are:
Duration and high cost of training. To get the profession of a phlebologist, you need to study for at least 8 years. Tuition at a medical university is much higher than that of other specialties.
Slow career advancement. The only prospect of a phlebologist is to get advancement and become the head of the department. But this will require many years of hard work and mandatory confirmation of qualifications.
Additional duties. A phlebologist, like all other doctors, is obliged to serve night shifts, participate in meetings, and write for professional journals.